Touring - Anyone ridden over the Robert Norris bridge on the Rappahannock River?
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For my upcoming Atlantic Coast tour, I need to get over the Rappahannock River. The only available bridge I can see is the Robert Norris bridge on Highway 3 on the eastern end of the river. According to Google Maps, the road is also called Grey's Point Road and becomes Mary Ball Road on the other (eastern) side of the bridge.
Searching Google for Robert Norris bridge and bicycling I don't find any information about bike lanes or anything else. Though, it is clear that this is a narrow 2-lane bridge that is quite busy. The only thing I found was this: "If you are continuing off the route over the Rappahannock River, use extreme caution as the Robert O. Norris bridge is narrow."
Has anyone ridden or driven over this bridge? If so, is riding a loaded touring bike over it possible?
(cross-posted to the Southeast forum)
03-24-10, 05:45 PM
And it was hairy, then.
The bridge is two miles long and has ZERO shoulders.
The AADT in 2008 was 7800 vehicles per day.
That's pretty darn busy - probably busier in warm weather than cold.
There is a pull-off just before the bridge.
You could have a printed sign and beg a ride in a pick-up.
Or you could see if someone at the marina would run you across.
Raybo, One year ago today I was coincidentally confronting the same question. I was tentatively planning on cycling from a family cabin in Westmoreland County, VA to Williamsburg (N>S) to meet the Adventure Cycling Tour that I was leading cross country. I called police and other locals with the same question with no definitive answers other than it's legal to cycle across it. Upon arrival at our cabin I decided to scope it out in my truck, less than an hour away.
Zero shoulder. If you got hit you'd fly over a low rail into the Rappahannock far below. I had to concentrate to steer my Toyota between center line and guard rail. I aborted the plan. That said, if you got there at dawn and blasted across.....maybe no problem, but ill advised. I'd say hitch a ride as suggested by jamawani from the pull-out. Upstream, Warsaw to Tappahannock is wider and doable but also busy and scary. Further upstream at Port Royal is safe, but it's a rather busy Rt 17 to get to either of those alternates.
Should you decide to try, There's lots of cool back roads you can link up between Fredericksburg and Whitestone off of Rt 3. Some of Rt 3 is ok. It's busier south of the Norris Bridge.
03-25-10, 05:40 AM
Good luck. Where I usually cross the Rapahannock upstream it's only about 100 ft wide :)
Whoops. Wrong bridge. Rt 3 you said.
I hitched a ride in a truck for that one.
I took jamawani's advice and contacted a local marina.
They said they should be able to work something out, including driving me over the bridge in their truck!
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